contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog

Find reviews of the best Solar Products, SMA Sunny Boy, Aurora Power-One, Growatt, SunPower, SolaX, QCells, Trina Solar, Jinko, Selectronic, Tesla Powerwall, ABB, SMA Sunny Island, Hybrid inverters, battery sizing, Lithium-ion, lead-acid batteries, off-grid, on-grid, stand-alone power systems

1. Hybrid Interactive and solar inverter combination

Jason Svarc

Interactive or multi-mode inverters are capable of operating in on-grid (hybrid) or off-grid modes and can be used to create both AC and DC coupled systems. An Interactive + solar inverter combination is the most common configuration and together form an AC coupled system. These high end systems can also be expanded to work with multiple solar inverters or other energy generation systems in different locations to form independent micro-grids. SMA and Selectronic have long been regarded as the leaders in this field, however in the US Outback Power may be considered number one as they have optimised there Radian series inverters to work with the common split phase homes. Schneider Electric and Victron Energy are also becoming big players in this area.

The Solar inverter can be almost any standard unit but it is usually either the same brand or is compatible with the interactive inverter to enable communication between the two inverters to optimise battery charging (this is very important for off-grid installations but not critical for hybrid systems).

The interactive or mulit-mode inverter is the heart of the system and acts as a battery inverter/charger and complete grid/generator management system. They incorporate clever, fully programmable software to optimise energy use through features such as load shifting and peak-shaving. Interactive inverters supply power in the same way as an off-grid inverter but also control grid connection (import and export power) and can be setup to automatically start and run a back-up gen-set (generator). In addition these inverters are capable of handling very high surge loads and can pass through additional power directly from the grid if the batteries are low or the load is very high. This pass through power capability has many advantages but in particular it can enable the entire home to be powered through the inverter without the need to separate essential and non-essential loads or circuits.

The following list explains in detail the features and specifications of the various interactive inverters available. Since the solar inverter can be almost any type we will focus only on the interactive inverter.

See the full inverter summary list here for easy direct comparison.

 

SP PRO from Selectronic

Selectronic based in Melbourne, Australia is one of the largest off-grid/hybrid inverter manufacturers. Selectronic’s interactive inverters provide a basis for efficient, high-end, hybrid and off-grid power systems. Selectronic has teamed up with two european solar inverter manufactures - ABB and Fronius, which have a range of solar inverters designed to be used in conjunction with the SP PRO.

Basic specifications:  (5 sizes available)

  • Type: Interactive and solar Inverter (AC coupled)
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS), off-grid
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): n/a
  • Sizes available (power output): 3.0kW, 4.5kW, 5.0kW, 7.5kW, 20kW
  • Pass through power: 15kW (highest in class)
  • Compatible Battery types: Lead-acid, lithium-ion, flow, sodium-ion
  • Battery System Voltages: 24V, 48V, 120V

Features:

  • Very high pass through power capability
  • Very high surge power output
  • Battery temperature monitoring for longer battery life
  • Battery sense monitoring and mid string sensor for accurate battery charging (lead-acid Gel and AGM)
  • Very powerful and user friendly software package with remote access
  • Unique pre-charge feature for safer startup
  • Generator auto start and monitoring
  • Complete battery storage option also available (Australia only)
  • AC / DC coupling capability
  • 3-phase capability

Note:

  • Separate solar inverter or solar DC regulator required
  • Full off-grid capability when used with Fronius or ABB solar inverters
  • Additional generator contactor required if used with dual AC sources.

Price bracket – From $4500 (3kW)

 

Sunny Island from SMA

SMA Sunny Island small.jpg

SMA Solar Technology is a German solar energy equipment supplier founded in 1981. It is the world's largest manufacturer of solar inverters. SMA is represented in 21 countries on four continents and is renowned for their high quality and service.

Basic specifications:  (4 sizes available)

  • Type: Interactive Inverter and solar Inverter combo
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS), off-grid
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): n/a
  • Sizes available (power output): 2.3kW, 3.3kW, 4.6kW, 6.0kW
  • Pass through power: 11.5kW
  • Compatible Battery types: Lead-acid, lithium-ion (refer to manufacturer)
  • Battery System Voltage: 48V

Features:

  • High pass through power capability
  • High surge power output
  • Battery temperature monitoring for longer battery life
  • Powerful software package with remote monitoring
  • Generator auto start and monitoring (optional)
  • Dual AC inputs (grid and generator)
  • Very good IP54 weather rating
  • AC / DC coupling capability
  • 3-phase capability + parallel for higher output

Note:

  • Separate solar inverter or solar DC regulator required
  • Full capability when used with SMA or compatible solar inverters
  • External automatic transfer switch required to enable battery backup
  • When configured as a hybrid inverter, grid isolation (backup mode) is not instantaneous - 2-3 sec delay.

Price bracket – From $4200

 

Conext XW & XW+ From Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is a well known, large European corporation and a leader in electrical product development and manufacture. Focusing on designing and developing products for the solar power conversion chain.

Basic specifications:  (3 sizes available)

  • Type: Interactive Inverter and solar Inverter combo
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS), off-grid
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): n/a
  • Sizes available XW (power output): 4.0kW, 4.5kW, 6.0kW
  • Sizes available XW+ (power output): 5.5kW, 6.8kW
  • Pass through power: 14kW
  • Compatible Battery types: Lead-acid, Lithium-ion (XW+ only)
  • Battery System Voltage: 24V & 48V

Features:

  • High surge power output
  • Very high pass through power capability
  • Battery temperature monitoring for longer battery life
  • Generator auto start and monitoring (optional)
  • Dual AC inputs (grid and generator)
  • Programmable software with remote access
  • AC / DC coupling capability
  • 3-phase capability 3-phase capability + parallel for higher output

Note:

  • Separate solar inverter or solar DC regulator required
  • Full capability only when used with Schneider solar inverters & regulators.
  • No built-in battery state of charge (SOC) control system
  • Difficult to configure for hybrid self-use installations

Price bracket – From $4000

 

Radian Series by Outback Power Systems

Outback Radian Series.jpg

Outback Power Systems is a North American company based in Arlington, WA, and have been producing high quality renewable energy products since 2001. Outback is also an innovative designer and manufacturer of reliable power electronics for renewable energy applications including solar, wind, micro-hydro and battery based energy systems.

Basic specifications:  (2 sizes available)

  • Type: Interactive Inverter and solar Inverter combo
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS), off-grid
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): n/a
  • Sizes available (power output): 4.0kW, 8.0kW
  • Pass through power:  3.6kW, 7.2kW
  • Compatible Battery types: Lead-acid, Lithium-ion
  • Battery System Voltage: 48V

Features:

  • Dual AC inputs (Generator & grid)
  • Split phase - 120/240V (North America)
  • Very high surge power output
  • Pass through power capability
  • Battery temperature monitoring for longer battery life
  • Powerful software package and advanced communications

Note:

  • Additional Coupling unit required to enable AC coupling
  • Full capability when used with Outback regulators.
  • Only available in North, Central and Latin America.

Price bracket – From US$3200

 

ECOmulti by Victron Energy

Victron Energy founded in 1975 in Almere, Netherlands, has grown to become an international high quality manufacture with a wide product range including battery chargers, sinewave inverters, inverters-chargers, DC/DC converters, transfer switches, battery monitors, charge controllers and more.

See the full Victron Energy Review here

Basic specifications:  (1 size available^)

  • Type: Interactive Inverter and solar Inverter combo
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS)
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): 1.8kW-3.2kW
  • Sizes available (power output): 2.5kW (^expandable)
  • Pass through power: 11.5kW
  • Compatible Battery types: Integrated lithium iron phosphate 2.3kWh
  • Battery System Voltage: 24V

Features:

  • All-in-one unit includes batteries and system management.
  • Simple installation
  • High pass through power capability
  • High surge power capability
  • Compact unit
  • Additional battery storage available (^expandable)

Note:

  • Separate solar inverter required
  • Full capability only when used with Victon solar Inverters
  • Low total energy storage capability

Price bracket – TBA

 

MultiPlus & Multigrid by Victron Energy

Victron Multiplus Hybrid inverter charger

Victron Energy founded in 1975 in Almere, Netherlands, has grown to become an international high quality manufacture with a wide product range including battery chargers, sinewave inverters, inverters-chargers, DC/DC converters, transfer switches, battery monitors, charge controllers and more.

See the full Victron Energy Review here

Basic specifications:  (5 size available^)

  • Type: Inverter/charger (coupled with DC solar regulator/s)
  • Use: Solar storage, back-up (UPS), off-grid
  • Solar Array Size (Solar input): N/A
  • Sizes available (power output): 0.7kW, 1.3kW, 1.6kW, 2.4kW, 4.0kW
  • Pass through power: 3.6kW - 11.5kW
  • Compatible Battery types: Lead-acid or lithium (LG chem)
  • Battery System Voltage: 12-48V

Features:

  • Economical Inverter/charger option
  • Med-High surge power output
  • Pass through power capability
  • Battery temperature monitoring for longer battery life
  • Generator auto start and monitoring available
  • Dual AC outputs for non-essential loads (high-power units only)
  • Programmable software with remote access and Wifi App
  • 3-phase capability + parallel for higher output

Note:

  • Separate solar inverter or solar DC regulator required
  • Full capability only when used with Victron regulators and color control panel (CCGX) and Venus GX
  • Larger capacity Quattro inverters also available (up to 15kVA)

Price bracket – $2300 (2.4kW)

 

For direct comparison of all Interactive inverters see the complete Hybrid InteractiveInverters Summary page.